RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Trey Songz is calling for Richmond’s mayor to resign after appointing William “Jody” Blackwell as the city’s new interim police chief last week.
On Instagram Monday, the Petersburg native criticized Levar Stoney for appointing an officer who was the subject of a fatal shooting investigation in the past, telling him to “step down now.”
“Aye @LevarStoney I see you appointed William V Blackwell as the new Chief of Police KNOWING he shot Jeramy Gilliam IN HIS BACK murdering him in July 2002. Says a gun pulled on him and he feared for his life although the gun was found 35 ft away (the next day) no prints,” the Grammy-nominated singer wrote on Instagram.
Songz, real name Tremaine Aldon Neverson, told his more than 12 million followers “this is a bad move and the people need better,” addressing Mayor Stoney. “What message are you trying to send to the people? These aren’t rhetorical questions!! You support this then you don’t support us. Step down now.”
As of this writing, Stoney has not publicly responded to Songz.
8News on Friday raised questions about Richmond’s newly appointed interim police chief and his involvement in the fatal shooting of Gilliam. 8News’ Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien reached out to Gilliam’s mother, who said she was shocked to learn Blackwell had climbed up the ranks.
“But they look out for each other,” she told 8News.
Blackwell declined 8News’ request for an interview.
Songz, a multi-platinum R&B recording artist, sponsored a three-day event series in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement in Richmond and Petersburg this past weekend. On Friday, Songz hosted a Juneteenth candlelight vigil at the city’s Robert E. Lee Monument.